CABINET: Count-down begins for swearing of PM Modi for second term


NEW DELHI: With just hours left for the swearing of the second Modi government at Rashtrapati Bhavan this evening, the mood is upbeat in the BJP camp, while the Congress party is struggling with its leadership issue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah held last-minute discussions on cabinet formation on Thursday; this, after the two returned from paying homage at the Samadhi of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee. The PM also paid floral tributes at Amar Jawan Jyoti.

The cabinet list is ready and one each berths will be offered to BJP’s alliance partners like the Shiv Sena, the JDU of Bihar strongman Nitish Kumar, the Akali Dal of Punjab, the Apna Dal of Uttar Pradesh and the Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan from Bihar.  

PM Modi has invited the MPs in the ministerial list to his home at 5pm for tea. Amit Shah is personally calling these MPs to be present at the PM’s residence well in time. No one among them, however, is speaking out about their selection so far. 

It is clear by now that Amit Shah will remain as BJP chief, and will not form part of government at this juncture. 

In the Congress camp, utter confusion prevailed about leadership, with Rahul Gandhi refusing to budge to persuasions for his continuation as party chief. 

Congress chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath, though invited, will not attend the swearing in ceremony. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan too will not attend. 

VVIP presence:

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, senior judges, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, former President Pranab Mukherjee, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former PM Dr Manmohan Singh among the invitees..

Several Bollywood stars and others from the entertainment industry will be present at the swearing-in.

Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Sajjan Jindal, Uday Kotak, N Chandra, Deepak Parekh, Anil Agarwal and Ajay Piramal among the invitees.

Leaders from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Mauritius, Bhutan, Kyrgyz republic and Thailand to be present. IHN-NN


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